In Las Vegas, as you’re probably already aware, there is a sobering maxim for would-be gamblers: “The House always wins.” What this means is that no matter how much money you might “win” while gambling, you and everyone else has already paid that money back (and much, much more) to the casino. The House never loses, but more often than not, if you gamble enough, you will.
I think this phrase is true of life in general, especially when it comes to getting along with others and achieving success. How? Here’s the logic.
To achieve any kind of success in life (power, respect, fame, freedom, etc.), you need help from other people – and, depending on your dream, probably from lots of people. You need their support, their clicks, their shares, their contacts, their money, their attention, whatever. So, we can call the people you need support from “the House.”
The problem is that the House, for the most part, doesn’t need you. People can always get their help, their entertainment, their advice, their fixes from elsewhere. Your company can always replace you. Your followers can always find another blog to read or YouTube channel to watch. Your customers can always find another business to patronize. And if the House doesn’t need you, they don’t need to help you.
Given this sort-of bleak situation, you have two options. Your first option is to try to beat the House (this is the alpha option). You confront the odds, you present people with your ideas, your causes, your business, your album. You take some gambles, you get smarter, play better, and hopefully win. As you get better, you take bigger risks and hopefully reap bigger rewards. Hopefully. But remember, the House always wins.
The second option is to not try to beat the House, but join it. Just like you can become an employee at a casino and work your way up from there, you can join the people from whom you’re trying to get support or help. Become their “employee.” Make yourself useful to them. Connect them with other people, do favors for them, give them advice if they ask for it.
Most importantly, become one of them. They will trust you, include you, and gladly share their support. Then you can leverage that trust and build your success from there.
The good thing about this option is that although it requires work, you don’t have to try to beat the odds. You’re building up something solid, strengthening your value, and starting with the people whose help and support you need.
It’s up to you: try to beat the House, or join ’em? Which do you choose?